Hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause can make you sing (or cry!) the blues. Loss of sleep, memory problems, and other physical complaints can fuel depression. For relieving mild depression, try this formula:
1 oz Siberian ginseng root tincture
1 oz St. John's wort tincture
1/2 oz vervain tincture
1/2 oz damiana tincture
Combine these tinctures in a bottle. Take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to four times daily. Expect to take this formula for 3 to 6 weeks before you'll feel benefits.
Caution: If you are on any medications, check with your doctor or an experienced herbalist before using St. John's wort. It may interfere with their effectiveness. If you are severely depressed or if your mild depression persists past 6 months, consult your health care practitioner. Do not take this formula for longer than 6 months. I use this formula for easing heart palpitations:
1 oz motherwort tincture
1 oz lemon balm tincture
1 oz hawthorn tincture
1 oz black cohosh tincture
Combine tinctures in a bottle. For palpitations, take 1/2 teaspoon every 30 minutes for 2 hours. Relief from palpitations should be evident after one to four doses. Don't take more than 4 teaspoons in any 24-hour period.
I also use this tonic to maintain heart health, which is important for women as they move through their menopausal years. Take 1 teaspoon, two or three times daily.
Soy Foods for Heart Risk
Soy products, especially tofu but also tempeh, soybeans, soy milk, soy flour, and soy protein powder, are important foods for menopausal women.
That's because some studies suggest that soy can reduce some risks associated with the drop in estrogen. And in combination with a healthy, low-fat diet, whole soy foods can lower LDL cholesterol and possibly triglycerides to help protect your heart.
One-half cup tofu, or 1 cup soy milk, contains about 30 mg isoflavones, the amount that researchers estimate is in the traditional Asian diet.
All of the herbs mentioned in this article can be purchased through Blessed Herbs. Visit their Web site or call them at (800) 489-HERB (4372). In Canada, call (508) 882-3839.
Looking for a Kinder, Gentler HRT?
Some HRT (hormone replacement therapy) prescription products have fewer side effects than others, particularly estrogens made from micronized estradiol, estrone, or estriol, which are similar to what is produced in the body.
"More and more, gynecologists are open to using natural estrogens and progesterones and are increasingly open to their patients' concerns and suggestions" about herbs and other natural menopause remedies, notes Helene Leonetti, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Today, there's nothing one-size-fits-all about HRT.
Prescription drugs come in a variety of formulations, and if you need something fine-tuned for you, your doctor or other licensed medical practitioner can customize a prescription that's filled through a compounding pharmacy. Its pharmacists will work with your doctor to create a product specifically designed for your body chemistry. For more information on compounding pharmacies, you or your doctor can contact any of the following locations:
Women's International Pharmacy, (800) 279-5708
Belmar Pharmacy, (800) 525-9473
Apothecure, (800) 969-6601; in Canada, (800) 203-2158
Occasional heart palpitations are common for otherwise healthy, perimenopausal women.
Caution: If you notice frequent heart rate or rhythm changes or feel pain, see your doctor promptly, and do not treat yourself with herbs. If you are taking cardiac medications, consult your doctor before taking any herbal remedies, and never adjust your prescribed meds without first consulting with your doctor.
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause And Menopause?
- Surprising Remedy to Help Hot Flashes
- Fitness Tips for Menopause: Why Fitness Counts
- Bing: Menopause and Weight Gain